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TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

came down and it all seemed to him silly, super-
ficial, flimsy. Why did they dress? He had come
down in his ordinary clothes. He had not got any
dress clothes. " One never gets anything worth
having by post "—that was the sort of thing they
were always saying. They made men say that
sort of thing. Yes, it was pretty well true, he
thought. They never got anything worth having
from one year's end to another. They did nothing
but talk, talk, talk, eat, eat, eat. It was the
women's fault. Women made civilisation impos-
sible with all their " charm/' all their silliness.

" No going to the Lighthouse to-morrow,
Mrs. Ramsay," he said asserting himself. He
liked her; he admired her; he still thought of the
man in the drain-pipe looking up at her; but he
felt it necessary to assert himself.

He was really, Lily Briscoe thought, in spite of
his eyes, but then look at his nose, look at his
hands, the most uncharming human being she
had ever met. Then why did she mind what he
said? Women can't write, women can't paint—
what did that matter coming from him, since
clearly it was not true to him but for some
reason helpful to him, and that was why he said
it? Why did her whole being bow, like corn
under a wind, and erect itself again from this
abasement only with a great and rather painful
J34